Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Budget Chic

I am back in New York! Thank you all for your nice comments on my vacay blog: I hope you've all had a great time the past week and that you're enjoying the FW shows either in person or online! As for myself, I've had a lovely vacation with people-watching, sightseeing and lots of great food and wine... I was actually supposed to attend a casting for JBrand right upon my return to NY, but did suddenly not fit into my size 25 jeans anymore, which was a definite requirement... oops!

On the left I am posing with my boyfriend, wearing RL vintage, Manolos and a street vendor peacock headpiece (my bracelets and earrings are not showing), right before we left for the banquet at the City Hall that I mentioned in a previous entry. I had to cut my beautiful sister-in-law, brother and parents from the image, as I am not sure they want their faces on my blog! Also, I wish I could have brought a camera to the event... some of the fashions made my inner wardrobe stylist cringe, while others were absolutely breath-taking. To me it seemed like the ladies who went budget chic, opting for cheaper gowns and dressing them up with luxe accessories, achieved the most stylish results - Angelina's thrifty $26 vintage find that she wore at the "Mighty Heart" premiere immediately came to mind.

One thing I particularly love to do when in a foreign country is of course to shop, my favorites being local designers (makes no sense to buy Choo or Anna Sui abroad when you live in NY) and higher-end chain stores. There is nothing like returning home with a garment that no one else will wear in New York, especially if you paid next to nothing for it! And cheap is sort of a requirement for my wallet right now.... I've been very inspired recently by the effort shown by some fashion magazines to feature budget fashions in their editorials, as well as to share advice on how to successfully style them with high end items. Pictured above on the right is Karmen Pedaru for Bazaar's recent "Cheap and Cheerful" editorial, on the left Magdalena Frackowiak wearing a $138 Guess by Marciano dress (I thought it would be way more expensive when I first saw it!) and on the right Mini Anden for Swedish ELLE, wearing a $30-ish H&M knit dress.

Hanging out and walking around in the city was an amazing and equally inspiring fashion experience. While obviously being nothing like Bryant Park at this time of year, Stockholm is a fabulous spot for those who love beautiful people and beautiful clothes. The sidewalks are crammed with blonde, well dressed and accessorized six-footers sauntering around - makes for great people-watching and (at least for me) tons of fresh ideas on how to mix and match current pieces with staples and out-of-season stuff.

Usually when I visit Stockholm, I like to go shopping at Nordiska Kompaniet, Sturegallerian and Biblioteksgatan, but this time I decided to steer clear of these more upscale spots and try something else - mostly because my boyfriend could not care less about spending three hours in a designer department store, and wanted to go sightseeing instead since it was his first time in Sweden. To sum it all up, I managed to guide him through the tourist district, the Old Town and Sodermalm, and still find the opportunities and time to pick up a turquoise mohair scarf at the Sirlig souvenir shop in the Old Town (about $50), a faux silver fox fur vest from Podium at Drottninggatan (about $35) and a pair of brown buckled Western style boots from Jerns at Drottninggatan (about $350), all pictured below. I'm really excited about getting to wear all of them, if the weather will ever start cooling down just a little bit!

If you're not traveling overseas anytime soon but are in the mood for some bargain shopping here at home in the big rotten apple, do visit Judith's Jewelry on 14th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue (closer to 5th on the south side of the street). The storeowner lost her lease two months ago but is still hanging in there (the landlord hasn't found a new tenant yet), selling her inventory for almost nothing. If sales continue to keep up, she might be able to stay after all, so if you need some fun jewelry to spice up a plain outfit, definitely stop by! Check out the picture on the right to see what I just picked up in there for no more than $17.

Just as an FYI, I am not affiliated with Judith's, and she and her staff have no idea I am endorsing their store on my blog. I just want to support local boutiques and designers (we lost so many of them already) to the extent that it's possible and I'm sure I'm not the only one! Now go there and bling yourself out!



  1. i looooooove people watching when im away, sometimes if im feeling really nerdy i make up little back stories for them, like maybe theyre really a spy or if theyve actually royalty ;)

    i know what you mean though, kate moss was like revolutionary during the nineties! i wish i had the willpower for the whole heroin chic look...put i heart carbs too much


  2. That is so funny! I sometimes do that too... my imagination has no limits.

    Gotta love Kate, and carbs of course! I had ice cream on the flight home and I'm paying for it now! :D

  3. I remember visiting England and thinking the fashions there were pretty icky. But then we went to Paris. Okay, most of the fashions were so-so, but I saw these ballet shoes I LOVED. At the time, several years ago, they were all over the shops. They even had ribbons that went up the legs and were satiny. I didn't buy any but regretted it. A year and a half later I was going out for New Years and needed some flats to go with my fancy dress. I found champagne colored ballerina slippers with ribbons and all at Payless, of all places. I loved those shoes! But they were filthy by the end of the night and after washing them, they lost their shape...so I tossed them.

  4. Love that headpiece -- you look beautiful.

  5. Stephanie: I love that kind of ballet flats! To get a pair that lasts, I usually buy them from dancewear stores, then have a shoemaker put a sole in them.:)

    Wendy: Thank you so much! I was a little worried that the peacock would not survive the flight overseas, but I managed to pack smartly!

  6. You're looking beautiful!


  7. Welcome back! You were sorely missed, kitten.

    Isn't it splendrous how our imaginations run wild when we're amongst strangers. I have a tendency to concoct soap opera like tales about people I've never met - it's so much fun to think of strangers as people mixed up in scandal and intrigue! :)

  8. oh oh.......

    really nice boots! you're gonna wear them with...?

  9. What a gorgeous vintage gown, darling! And such a handsome couple!


  10. Welcome back. I love people watching too especially if I'm in another country.

    You and your BF look fabulous.

    Gosh, I envy your waistline. Wish i can go back to that size but it's not doable at my age anymore.

  11. And I who thought I was the only one spying on people, making up cheesy soaps about them in my head... glad I'm not alone! :D

    I'm still contemplating how to wear my new boots. The opportunities are endless, but dark skinnies with jewel tones on top and a knitted scarf (maybe that new one that I got) are always a fall-back option.

    Also, I almost forgot me and my BF are celebrating our 4 year anniversary today. I think this might be the third or fourth picture we have of the two of us together... he doesn't like to be in pictures (unlike me, obviously)!

  12. You look stunning - I love your dress. And you def look like a size 25 (if not smaller)!

    I also cannot wait to start wearing boots!


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